Zucchini Avocado Salsa

Z for Zucchini Avocado Salsa under Condiments for BM 32. Chips and Salsa happens to be a favorite snack at home with the kids as well as adults. I was getting a little bored with the regular salsa when I spotted this recipe in a cookbook, 'The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook' by Cathe Olson.

The salsa turned out to be a super hit at home. It was a delight to have this as part of a snack on a rainy evening! I thought this would also make a great filling for Tacos along with the cooked beans.

Ingredients - 

Zucchini diced 1 cup
Corn kernels (fresh or frozen) 1/2 cup
Avocado peeled, pitted and diced 1/2 - 1 cup
Spring Onion finely chopped 2 Tbsp
Fresh Lime Juice as needed
Lime Zest 1/2 tsp
Garlic minced 1 tsp
Coriander leaves / Cilantro finely chopped 2 Tbsp
Tabasco Sauce / Taco Sauce 1 Tbsp (or as needed)
Salt and Pepper as needed
Olive Oil 2 Tbsp (I forgot to add)

Zucchini Avocado Salsa
That is my older one helping herself!
Method Of Preparation -

Steam zucchini and corn for a couple of minutes and mix all the ingredients in a bowl. 

Stir them together and chill for an hour before serving.

Serve them with Tortilla chips.

Here is a recap of the A-Z series..
1. International / Fusion Cuisine

Avocado-Lettuce-Tomato Sandwich
English Digestive Biscuits
Falafel ~ The Healthier Way
Oats Upma
Papaya Salad - Vegan

2.Regional Cuisine

Bedmi Puri (With Moong Dal)
Double Ka Meetha
Kandagadda Pachadi ~ Yam (Suran) Chutney
Lemon Rasam ~ Nimmakaya Charu
Nimmakaya Karam ~ Spicy Lemon Sauce
Qubani Ka Meetha
Sojjappam ~ Sooji Halwa Stuffed In Puri
Uppu Urundai ~ Steamed Rice Dumplings

3.Baked Dishes

Cashew Vegetable Quiche

Garlic Mixed Vegetable Rolls
Jam Biscuits - Eggless
Tofu Mini Quiche
Vanilla-Date Scones
Warm Apple Crisp

4. Condiments / Miscellaneous / Street Food

Idli Milagai Podi

Mango Leather ~ Mamidi Thaandra
Radish Flowers
Xacuti Masala Powder
Yogurt-Spinach Dip
Zucchini Avocado Salsa

Logo courtesy : Preeti

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 32

Preparation Time 10 min + Optional Cooling time 1 hr 
Makes 2 cups

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Posted by Harini R on Monday, September 30, 2013

Y for Yogurt-Spinach Dip under Condiments for BM #32. I got this recipe from a friend of mine a long time back and finally I got to make this dip in the last minute.

It made a delightful dip with the crackers and so it makes its entry as a condiment!

Yogurt-Spinach Dip

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Posted by Harini R on Sunday, September 29, 2013

Xacuti Masala Powder

X for Xacuti Masala Powder under Miscellaneous / Condiments for BM #32. 

I understand that the non-vegetarian version of Xacuti is very popular in Goa. For people like us, there is always an abundance of vegetables which can be substituted. 

The main flavor comes from the masala and therefore it is here for us to enjoy the flavor of all the aromatic spices that go into the Xacuti (pronounced as Shakooti).

My family enjoyed the spicy, flavorful Vegetable Xacuti (which I shall post later), while you read about the Masala Powder. I had this verbatim from a Goan friend and reproduced to the best of my memory. :)

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Posted by Harini R on Saturday, September 28, 2013

Warm Apple Crisp

W for Warm Apple Crisp under Baked Dishes for BM #32. 

I had first tasted a similar kind of dessert, 'Warm Apple Crostata' in the restaurant Chain 'Olive Garden'. I instantly fell in love with it but felt it was overly sweet. I usually order it without any toppings to cut down on sugar. 

Then the thought came that I should figure out a way to make it a little healthier and so here is a low sugar, high fiber version which will please your guests and loved ones.

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Vanilla-Date Scones

V for Vanilla Date Scones under Baked Dishes for BM #32. If you have been following my space, you would have realized that I love to bake scones. They are very popular with the kids and also I rely on them as I can make them low fat and low sugar thereby making it a healthy snack.

I saw this recipe when looking for options with V and thought it was a good idea to sneak in dates and make it without any additional sugar. The next time I would add a few more dates as I felt that there were not enough dates.

The little one was very adventurous in her toppings. She tried with sugar glaze, chocolate syrup and strawberry syrup. And the husband ate it with Tomato Chutney :).

Adapted from here
Ingredients - 

*Self Rising Flour 1 cup
Butter milk a little less than 1/2 cup
Vanilla Essence 2 tsp
Dates 5-6 , pitted
Vegetable Oil / Butter 1 Tbsp
Brown Sugar / Raw Sugar 1 tsp for topping

* I used 1/2 cup of All Purpose Flour, 1/2 cup of Wheat Flour 1/4 tsp of Salt and 1/2 Tbsp of Baking Powder

Vanilla-Date Scones

Method Of Preparation -

Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Prepare a baking tray by lining a parchment paper.

In a bowl, mix the flours and baking powder (skip this if using self rising flour).

In a blender puree the dates along with oil, buttermilk and vanilla essence.

Knead the flour into a sticky dough by adding the pureed date mixture.

Transfer the dough to the baking tray, pat it into a 1/4 inch thick disc. Sprinkle raw sugar all over the dough.

Using a pizza cutter, make 8 wedges and bake for about 12-13 min or until a tester comes out clean.

Remove and serve warm with clotted cream or jam of your choice.

Logo courtesy : Preeti

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 32

Preparation Time 10 min + Baking time 14 min
Makes 8 wedges

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Uppu Urundai ~ Steamed Rice Dumplings

U for Uppu Urundai under regional cuisine for BM #32.
This was a last minute but a delightful find for me. I have never tried these cuties before and I made these for the kid's after school snack. They disappeared even before I could get proper pictures. I am sure I am going to make these often. 

I thought they resembled Undrallu which we make for Ganesh Chavithi, but they tasted very different.

I intend adding some grated carrots and nuts the next time to make it nutrient rich. Adding some spice to perk it up is not a bad idea either. But since I was serving these to kids I didn't add any spice.

Recipe Source here
Ingredients - 

*Idli Rava 1/2 cup
Water to soak 1 1/2 cups
Salt as needed
Seasoning (Oil 1 Tbsp, Chana Dal 1 tsp, Urad Dal 1 tsp, Jeera 1/2 tsp, Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, Asafoetida couple pinches)

* The original recipe calls for Parboiled rice, soaked and ground into a coarse batter. 

Uppu Urundai ~ Steamed Rice Dumplings

Method Of Preparation -

Soak Idli rava in 1 1/2 cups of water for about 1-2 hours.

In a heated pan, add oil and the rest of the seasoning. After the mustard seeds pop and the dals are brown, add the soaked idli rava .

Mix well and let it cook for about 5 minutes.

Remove from fire and let it cool for a few minutes.

When it is cool to touch, pinch equal portions of the cooked mixture and roll into a ball.

Place them on a plate and steam for 10 minutes.

Remove and serve them warm !

Logo courtesy : Preeti

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 32.

Preparation Time 15 min + Soaking Time 2 hrs
Makes 18 

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Posted by Harini R on Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tofu Mini Quiche

T for Tofu Mini Quiche under Baked Dishes for BM #32.
This was one of the first recipes I tried out for this edition of BM. I had a few more for T which I thought I would make but then, I had to prioritize and so had to stick with this delightful and spicy snack!

Anyway, the husband loved these mini ones but it was a little spicy for the kids.

Recipe idea from here
Ingredients - 

Olive oil 1 Tbsp
Garlic,minced  1 tsp
Onion chopped 1/2 cup 
Mixed vegetables, minced 1 cup (Carrots, beans, peas and corn)
Green Chillies, minced 2-3 (or as needed)
Tofu, Firm, 1 block drained of water
Milk 1/4 cup
Cheese Shredded 3-4 Tbsp
Cornstarch 1 Tbsp
Tahini 1 Tbsp (I used sesame seed powder)
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Salt as needed

Tofu Mini Quiche

Method Of Preparation -

In a heated pan, add oil and saute onions, garlic until they are translucent. Add in the mixed vegetables, minced green chillies, turmeric, salt and saute until they are semi cooked.

Remove from fire and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 °F.

In a blender/mixer, make a paste of tofu, cornstarch, milk and tahini.

Mix the tofu paste and the vegetable mixture.

Prepare the muffin pan with liners and divide the mixture into 12 equal portions and fill them in the liners.

Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the muffin cups.

Bake for 22-24 min or until a toothpick comes out clean upon testing.

Scoop out upon cooling and enjoy!

Logo courtesy : Preeti

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 32

Preparation Time 15 min + Baking Time 24 min
Makes 12

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Posted by Harini R on Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sojjappam ~ Sooji Halwa Stuffed In Puri

S for Sojjappam under Regional Cuisine for BM #32. The letter S was the easiest and the first ones to be made and finalized. I love these so much and moreover so many memories attached to them that I was impatient to share them here!

I remember in my growing up years this was a regular fare for some of the festivals and also mini functions / get-togethers etc. 

Since my kids love Sooji halwa, I made these for them to satisfy my craving and also as an offering to the Lord Almighty!

Ingredients - 

Wheat Flour 1 cup
Salt 1/2 tsp or to taste
Water to knead the dough as needed
Oil to deep fry

For the Stuffing - 
Rava Kesari / Sooji Halwa 1/2 - 3/4 cup (Without any nuts)

Sojjappam ~ Sooji Halwa Stuffed In Puri

Method Of Preparation -

In a mixing bowl, knead the whole wheat flour with water with a little salt and turmeric into a dough and keep it covered for 10-15 min.

Divide the dough into equal parts (about 8-10) and roll each portion of the dough into small circles. Put in at least a teaspoon of filling and close it into a ball.

Roll out this ball into a thin circle like a roti/puri making sure that the filling doesn't ooze out. Also carefully roll it so the filling spreads out evenly.

Heat oil in a wok/kadai. After the oil is hot enough, gently slide in the rolled out puri and let it puff out. Cook on both sides until cooked through and drain onto paper towels.

Continue with the rest of the dough. Serve them warm and enjoy!

Logo courtesy : Preeti

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 32

Preparation Time 30-35 min
Makes 8-10

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R for Radish Flowers under Miscellaneous Category.
During the summer, in an effort to keep my kids busy and also use up the leftover radishes, I made the kids work on these chrysanthemums and what better way to showcase their art!!

I would have loved to plate them on a bed of lettuce with some Carrot Flowers and Cucumber Roses as well.

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Posted by Harini R on Saturday, September 21, 2013

Qubani Ka Meetha

Q for Qubani Ka Meetha under Regional Cuisine for BM #32. Qubani in Urdu means Apricots. This probably had origins in Central Asia but it was popularized during the Nizam rule in Hyderabad. Even today it is a very popular dessert during Hyderabadi weddings.

When I was listing the recipes with Q, I had most of them with Quinoa and I wanted some regional cuisine. So when I was having a conversation with Jaya (my sis), she mentioned Qubani Ka Meetha yet again and asked me if I could fit it in. I jumped at her idea, took the recipe from her and made it the same day.

I served it with fruit custard and it was just too awesome to pass! But make sure the sugar is adjusted to taste as the first time I made, it turned out a little too sweet for our comfort. So I reduced the sugar in the fruit custard and all is well that ends well.

This fruit compote stores well in the refrigerator for over a month..

Qubani Ka Meetha

Ingredients - 

Dried Apricots 1 packet (200 gms)
Sugar 1/2 cup (adjust as needed)
Water as needed
Any more nuts if desired

Qubani Ka Meetha

Method Of Preparation -

Soak the dried apricots in water so that they are all immersed in water. Leave it covered overnight.

Remove the pit from the soaked fruit and in a heated pan add about a cup of water and let it come to a boil.

The pit when broken yields an almond like nut which tastes very good. So if you have the patience to break open the pits and get the nuts out, coarsely crush those nuts and add it to the compote.

Add sugar and slowly keep mashing the mixture with a ladle. Let it come together as a single mass.
Remove from fire and let it cool.

Serve it with Clotted Cream (Malai), Ice cream or Fruit custard.

Logo courtesy : Preeti

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 32

Preparation Time 15 - 20 min + Soaking Time 6-8 hrs
Makes approximately 1 cup

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Posted by Harini R on Friday, September 20, 2013

Papaya Salad - Vegan

P for Papaya Salad aka Som Tam, a Salad from Thailand. So this qualifies under the International Cuisine for BM #32.

My sister told me about this salad which happens to be their favorite from a local Thai food joint. That was when I scoured the web to arrive at a combination which we loved a lot. I have since prepared this salad umpteen number of times.

The fact that it is low sodium (barring the sodium in Soy sauce) with the goodness of papaya and carrots makes it a really healthy option. Apparently it is a very popular street food in Thailand.

Papaya Salad - Vegan

Ingredients - 

Green Papaya , peeled, seeded, jullienned 2 cups
Carrots, peeled, jullienned 1/2 cup
Tomato, cut into strips 1/4 cup
Beans, french cut, steamed 1/4 cup (Optional - I didn't use)
Spring Onions, finely chopped 2-3 Tbsp (I omitted)
Coriander leaves, finely chopped 2 Tbsp
Garlic, minced 1 clove
Dressing - 
Lemon Juice 1 Tbsp (or as needed)
Soy Sauce 1 Tbsp (or as needed)
Garnish - 
Peanuts, roasted handful
Crushed pepper as needed

* Add some moong sprouts for an extra burst of flavor. 
*Add crushed green thai chillies for an extra spicy salad!

Papaya Salad - Vegan

Method Of Preparation -

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, drizzle the seasoning and garnish with peanuts and crushed pepper as needed.

Serve immediately.

Logo courtesy : Preeti

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 32

Preparation Time 10 min
Serves 2 

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Posted by Harini R on Thursday, September 19, 2013

Oats Upma

O for Oats Upma under International/Fusion Recipes for BM #32. In recent years the usage of oats has increased many fold, specially in India. The traditional Western way of consuming oats is mostly sweetened and paired with milk in many cases. But we Indians prefer having something spicy to start the day with, right?

So after listening to so many complaints from my relatives about their plight , that is their inability to effectively enjoy the goodness of oats in their breakfast routine, I thought I should try out a version which is close to my heart as well!

This one here resembles Poha Upma and so my older one loved it as well.

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Posted by Harini R on Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Nimmakaya Karam ~ Spicy Lemon Sauce

N for Nimmakaya Karam under Regional recipes for BM #32.

This is a tried and tested recipe from my MIL's kitchen which is at least a few decades old. I have never been able to have this karam as I always thought that it is way too spicy than I can handle. But upon my husband's insistence, I tried it with curd rice and I am a convert now :). 

A few months back, my husband got a crate full of lemons for a throwaway price. So when I was cracking my brains as to how to make use of these lemons effectively, my husband suggested that it was high time I got the recipe from MIL and made this at home. So here it is..

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Posted by Harini R on Tuesday, September 17, 2013

M for Mango Leather under Street Food / Misc. I remember some street hawker who used to sell this on our street which was totally forbidden for us. So it made it even more sweet or me when my aunt used to offer it to me when I visited her. 

Much later this Mamidi thaandra (as we call it in Telugu) was commercially packaged and sold in stores. But the thrill of eating it when the hawker comes to your door step is totally on a different plane, right??

So as soon as I saw various versions of this mango leather floating in the Blogosphere, I was tempted to make it. But the fat that it needed 3-4 hours of oven time put me off for quite some time and moreover I was not sure if my kids would like it. But then I made a small batch the other day and I hardly had a few strips left for the photo shoot!

The next time I shall make thicker ones but then it would take much longer in the oven ..lets see what can be done..any ideas??

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Posted by Harini R on Monday, September 16, 2013

Lemon Rasam

L for Lemon Rasam under regional recipes for BM #32. This has been in my to-do list for more than a decade. We finally got to enjoy this on a cold and rainy evening. 

This is a tried and tested recipe from 2-3 generations in our family. 

Ingredients - 

Tomato, chopped 1 cup
Toor Dal, cooked 2 Tbsp
Ginger , grated 1 Tbsp
Green Chillies, slit 2-3 (or as needed)
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Salt as needed
Jaggery/Sugar 1 tsp or as needed
Coriander leaves for garnish
Lemon juice 1-2 Tbsp (or as needed)
Seasoning (Ghee/Oil 2 tsp, Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, Jeera 1/2 tsp, Asafoetida 1/4 tsp, Curry leaves few)

Lemon Rasam

Method Of Preparation -

In a heated pan, boil the tomato , toor dal, 3-4 cups of water, ginger and green chilies.

After it comes to a rolling boil, add turmeric, salt and sugar.

Adjust the flavors as needed.

In a separate pan, prepare the seasoning by heating oil and adding mustard seeds, jeera, asafoetida and curry leaves.

Transfer this seasoning onto the rasam. 

Squeeze the lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve hot with rice and ghee!

Logo courtesy : Preeti

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 32

Preparation Time  20 min 
Serves 4-5

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Posted by Harini R on Saturday, September 14, 2013

Kandagadda Pachadi ~ Yam (Suran) Chutney

K for Kandagadd apachadi under regional cuisine for BM #32. 
I have never cooked with yam at home, though I enjoyed some very good dishes with it in my childhood. I tasted Kandagadda pachadi about a decade back in a family function and I remember there was a great discussion regarding this pachadi.

It turned out that the pachadi was a specialty made by the head of the household and he was very enthusiastically explaining the procedure to anyone who was interested. I think I remember what he said and I have tried to replicate the taste and from what my husband says it is very close to what we ate then! 

Ingredients - 

Kandagadda /Suran /Yam peeled, chopped 1 1/2 cups (I used a 7 oz frozen pack)
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Salt as needed
Tamarind extract 2-3 Tbsp or as needed
Dhania / Coriander seeds 1 tsp
Jeera 1/2 tsp
Methi Seeds a pinch
Dry Red Chillies 5-6 (or to taste)
Oil 2 Tbsp
Seasoning (Oil 2 tsp, Chana Dal 1 tsp, Urad Dal 1 tsp, Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp, Asafoetida a couple pinches, Curry leaves few)

Kandagadda Pachadi ~ Yam (Suran) Chutney

Method Of Preparation -

In a heated pan, add 2 tablespoon of oil and fry the yam until the raw smell goes they are fried well. It took me about 15 min on medium heat.

Remove from fire and transfer to a plate and set aside. In the same heated pan, dry roast coriander seeds, cumin, methi seeds and red chilles one after the other and set aside.

After the fried yam is cold enough to handle, add the roasted coriander seeds, cumin seeds, methi seeds and red chillies along with the fried yam and grind into a fine paste adding salt and tamarind extract as needed. Take care not to add water. Transfer into a serving bowl.

Prepare the seasoning by heating oil and adding mustard seeds, chana dal, urad dal, asafoetida, red chilies and curry leaves. Pour the prepared seasoning onto the ground chutney.

Serve with rice with a dollop of ghee and surprise your guests!

Logo courtesy : Preeti

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 32

Preparation Time 20 min
Makes 1 1/2 cups

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Posted by Harini R on Friday, September 13, 2013

Jam Biscuits - Eggless

J for Jam Biscuits! When I showed my husband that I had chosen to bake these biscuits so they can form part of this A-Z series of BM #32, he was skeptical if it could beat his expectations. Though he did not say anything openly, I sensed his hesitation. 

After I baked these, he couldn't have enough of them. He said they tasted just like the bakery ones he used to eat in his childhood. I couldn't agree with him more!! And the kids fought with the Dad to finish them off. They all liked Strawberry jam better.

Jam Biscuits - Eggless

Recipe Source here
Ingredients - 

Maida / All Purpose Flour 3/4 cup
Custard Powder (I used Vanilla flavor) 3/4 cup
Corn starch / Fine Corn Flour (White) 4 Tbsp
Butter, at room temperature 1/2 cup
Sugar, Powdered 1/2 cup
Curds/Yogurt 3-4 Tbsp
Jam of your choice (I used Strawberry and Grape) as needed
Vanilla essence 1 tsp (I didn't use as the custard powder had vanilla flavor)

Jam Biscuits - Eggless

Method Of Preparation -

Whisk the butter and powdered sugar until it becomes frothy. (Add vanilla essence as well if using).

Add the flours and curd and knead into a smooth and soft dough.

Divide the dough into manageable portions and roll them out flat approximately 5 mm thick.

Cut out desired shapes (using a cookie cutter) and continue rolling the dough and cutting out the shapes until the dough is used up.

Arrange these cut out shapes on a foil or parchment lined cookie tray.

Use a small bottle cap or your thumb to make a small depression on the surface of the cookies. Put in a little jam of your preference to fill the depression.

Preheat the oven to 375 °F. Bake for 12-15 min or until the undersides are lightly browned.

Cool them and store in air tight containers.

Logo courtesy : Preeti

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 32

Preparation Time 45 min
Makes 30-35 depending on the size and shape of the cookie

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